The Beautiful and the Damned

Chapter Five: Better Luck Next Time

A night raid, a bloody mess, a swift capture and a big lie.

Black is for the nighttime
Preys upon the day
Red is for the blood that flows
Like rivers in our veins

When things go wrong, they go wrong in a hurry.

Cole, Gaius and Santi made their way (via Cole’s car) to the El Monte neighborhood that they had learned was the home of hunter Shelly Alana. As they rolled past the apartment complex where Alana was reported to reside, the trio noticed a quartet of similarly-dressed young men standing near the building’s entrance. Noting their dark green polos and khakis, Gaius was able to identify the youths as being associated with local street gang the Rosemead Kings. It was surmised that the Kings had likely assembled to provide Shelly Alana with protection, and so it was decided that a cautious and subtle approach would be needed.

After the car was parked up the block, Gaius slipped out into the night and engaged his powers of obfuscation before making his approach towards the apartment. As he slid through the assembled gang members, he was deceived by his senses. Mistakenly believing that the four young men were unknown Kindred and that they had seen through his supernatural attempts at stealth, Gaius felt his Beast rise up in frenzy. Drawing his knife and calling upon the strength of his blood, Gaius savagely opened the throat of the King standing nearest him, spraying the others with a shower of blood. The combination of violence and vitae awoke the Beast in Santi, and in his frenzy he was driven to inhuman speed. Quickly covering the distance from the car to the melee, he drove his knife through the chest of one of the Kings, and grabbed another and ripping his life away with a wild bite. Cole felt the stirrings of his Beast but was able to maintain his composure. Seeing his friends engaged in combat, however, he decided to come to their aid; he casually walked over, grabbed the remaining King, and tore out his throat.

The three Kindred found themselves covered in blood and surrounded by corpses in full view of the street.

It was quickly decided that the mission to detain Shelly Alana should continue. Cole instructed Santi to stash the bodies in some nearby bushes and get the car while Cole and Gaius headed into the complex to look for Alana. Santi stashed the bodies as best he could, but in doing so recognized one of them as someone with whom he’d attended high school. Overcome with guilt, he sought out a hose and washed the blood off of himself as best he could. Meanwhile, Gaius and Cole found Shelly’s apartment and battered the door off of its hinges. Finding Shelly inside, they quickly subdued her by draining a portion of her blood and carried her down into the apartment’s courtyard, where they discovered that Santi hadn’t retrieved the car. Cole expressed his annoyance at this, and then the group hurried down the street to the car and sped off into the night.

Cole put in a call to Andre Laurent, explaining the situation to the Brujah whip. Laurent instructed Cole to bring the group to meet him and Adeline Leclerc at the safehouse where they’d previously dropped Mitchell Phillips. Upon arrival, the group gave the story of the evening’s difficulties to Laurent and Leclerc. Laurent said that he would have someone look into how much the neighbors had seen and to close up any potential Masquerade breaches. He revealed that research into the two vampires that had attacked the group at the home of Mitchell Phillips suggested that the attackers were victims of a Sabbat mass-Embrace. Laurent instructed Gaius, Santi and Cole to tell anyone asking that the bodies at Alana’s apartment were the result of a second attack by Sabbat raiders.

The gathered Kindred interrogated Shelly Alana. She didn’t know much more than Phillips had; she was unable to identify who had revealed the existence of Kindred to the hunters, nor did she know how to find the third and final hunter, Lev Belski. She did tell the story of how she had for years been the feeding vessel of a Kindred who had repeatedly modified her memory to forget that she had been fed upon, leaving her physically weak and believing that she had a mysterious chronic illness. It was only when the existence of the undead was revealed to her that her memories returned (and even then, quite hazily). Laurent and Leclerc listened to the description of the vampire who had fed on Alana, and identified him as Ventrue whip Devin Aaronson.

Deciding that deflecting blame for any possible Masquerade breach onto the Sabbat was safer than letting the Court at large to know the truth, the group agreed to Andre Laurent’s plan.

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